How To Survive The 20 First Minutes of a Networking Event?

The two previous Saturdays I wrote about solving the uncomfortable feeling that many people have when attending a networking event for the first time and who is the best person to approach to get help for that.

Since I received many responses and requests for more tips, I will add another one.

The first 20 minutes of a networking event are for many people the most difficult ones. I call those 20 minutes the “acclimatisation period”. After this period most of us feel comfortable enough to have conversations with other people.

Question is: how to survive this acclimatisation period?

Next to the tips from the last weeks, this is something that also works very well:

Don’t come alone, bring someone with you.

Then you have someone to talk to during the acclimatisation period which allows for a smooth transition into the rest of the event.

However there some pitfalls to avoid and some tips to increase your results:

Don’t stay together the whole time. To avoid this, agree with your networking partner UP FRONT that you will only enter (and maybe also leave) the room together. The rest of the time you spend with other people.

Don’t come with a colleague. The danger is way too big that you will end up talking to each other the whole time. If you come together: again tell the other person up front that you will split up after the acclimatisation period.

Bring someone from another company or organisation. In this way you have both your own PR agency with you. How? After the acclimatisation period you split up. Then when you are talking to other people you can also think about your networking partner and when there is an interesting match to be made, go with your new contact to your networking partner and introduce them to each other. And of course (s)he does the same for you.

To your networking success !


Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach and author of the networking books Let’s Connect! and How to REALLY use LinkedIn (both in English and Dutch)


2 Responses to How To Survive The 20 First Minutes of a Networking Event?

  1. Guest says:

    Totally agree with ‘bringing someone together’ tip.. Going alone can be a disaster.

  2. Michael Birchmore says:

    Sorry, got email address wrong in last submission.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: